These Mini Creme Brulee Trifles are a single-serving dessert that combine creamy and crunchy textures. They’re sweet, looks fancy, and are really unique. With their creamy base, crispy sugar top, and layers of cookies and jam, they’re both pretty and delicious.
This Creme Brulee Trifle recipe is a true crowd-pleaser, combining the luxurious texture of creme brulee with the comforting crunch of shortbread cookies. It’s a dessert that strikes the perfect balance between elegance and simplicity, making it ideal for both special occasions and casual gatherings.
The layers of creamy creme brulee, rich raspberry jam, and buttery cookies create a beautiful combination of flavors and textures in every bite. Whether it’s a family dinner or a festive party, this dessert is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Ingredients In Recipe
When making Creme Brulee Trifles, choosing the right ingredients and understanding their role can make all the difference. Here’s a breakdown with tips to help you choose the best ingredients:
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Vanilla Bean: Go for a high-quality vanilla bean for this recipe. The bean infuses the cream with a rich, deep vanilla flavor that is unparalleled by extracts. If you’re in a pinch, vanilla paste can be a good substitute, but the specks of real bean in the cream add a gourmet touch.
- Egg Yolks: Use fresh, large egg yolks. They are essential for the creamy texture and rich taste of the creme brulee. Room temperature yolks blend more smoothly into the cream.
- Heavy Cream: Use full-fat heavy cream because it creates the luxurious base of the creme brulee. Avoid substituting with lighter creams or milk, as they won’t provide the same decadence.
- Granulated Sugar: This is used both in the cream and for the brulee topping. When caramelized, it forms the classic crisp layer that contrasts beautifully with the smooth creme underneath.
- Shortbread Cookies: Choose shortbread for its buttery flavor and crisp texture. It adds a nice crunch against the creamy creme brulee.
- Seedless Raspberry Jam: The jam adds a sweet and slightly tart layer that cuts through the richness of the cream. Select a jam with a good balance of sweetness and tartness. You can also experiment with different flavors like apricot or blackberry.
How To Make Creme Brulee
Creating these elegant Creme Brulee Trifles is easier than you might think and is sure to impress at your next gathering. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you make this beautiful dessert:
- Preparation: Begin by preheating your oven and setting up a water bath. This helps in evenly cooking the creme brulee without curdling the eggs.
- Vanilla Infusion: The heart of the creme brulee’s flavor lies in the vanilla. Gently split and scrape a vanilla bean, infusing its rich flavors into the cream.
- Egg Yolk Mixture: Whisking the egg yolks properly is key. They act as a thickening agent, giving the creme brulee its signature texture.
- Heating the Cream: Carefully heat the cream with sugar and vanilla, watching the temperature closely. This step is crucial to achieving the perfect consistency.
- Combining and Straining: Gradually mix the cream into the egg yolks to avoid curdling. Straining the mixture ensures a smooth texture, free from any solids or cooked egg.
- Baking in a Water Bath: This method provides gentle heat around the creme brulee, ensuring it cooks evenly and stays creamy.
- Chilling: Patience is key. Allow the creme brulee to cool and set properly in the refrigerator for the perfect consistency.
- Assembling the Trifles: Layer the components – crushed cookies, smooth creme brulee, and raspberry jam – in a visually appealing manner to create a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.
- The Final Touch: A sprinkle of sugar on top, followed by a quick torch, gives that iconic caramelized crust. This not only adds a textural contrast but also a slightly bitter counterpoint to the sweet, creamy layers.
- Serving: Serve these trifles chilled for the most satisfying experience. Each spoonful reveals the harmonious blend of textures and flavors, making every bite a delightful experience.
- Temperature Control: Pay close attention to temperatures when heating the cream for the creme brulee. Overheating can lead to a curdled texture.
- Gradual Mixing: When combining the hot cream with egg yolks, do it slowly and whisk continuously. This prevents the eggs from cooking and helps achieve a smooth mixture.
- Straining the Mixture: Strain the creme brulee mixture through a fine sieve to remove any lumps and the vanilla bean pod for a silky texture.
- Water Bath: Bake the creme brulee in a water bath to ensure even cooking and a custard that’s just the right consistency – creamy without being runny.
- Chilling Time: Don’t rush the chilling process. The creme brulee needs time to set properly in the fridge, ideally overnight.
- Layering: For the best presentation, layer the ingredients neatly in the serving glasses. Start with a layer of cookies, followed by the creme brulee, a dollop of jam, and repeat.
- Caramelizing the Sugar: For the brulee topping, evenly spread a thin layer of sugar and use a kitchen torch to caramelize it. If the sugar layer is too thick, it won’t caramelize well.
- Serving Glasses: Use clear glasses for serving to showcase the beautiful layers of the trifle. Make sure they are heatproof if you’re caramelizing the sugar directly in the glass.
- Prep in Advance: You can prepare the creme brulee a day ahead and assemble the trifles a few hours before serving. This makes it easier to manage if you’re preparing them for a special occasion.
- Refrigerate Promptly: Always store the trifles in the refrigerator. The creamy creme brulee and jam need to be kept cool to stay fresh and prevent spoilage.
- Cover Carefully: Use plastic wrap or a tight-fitting lid to cover the trifles. This prevents them from absorbing any odors from the fridge and also keeps them moist.
- Serve Within 3 Days: For the best flavor and texture, consume the trifles within three days of making them. The longer they sit, the softer the cookies will become as they absorb moisture from the cream and jam.
- Assemble Just Before Serving: If possible, store the creme brulee, cookies, and jam separately and assemble the trifles just before serving. This keeps the cookies crisp.
- Avoid Freezing: Freezing is not recommended for creme brulee trifles. The freezing and thawing process can alter the texture of the cream and cookies, making them less enjoyable.
I hope you enjoy making and indulging in these Creme Brulee Trifles as much as I did! If you try this recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a rating and review. Also, don’t forget to pin this recipe to your Pinterest board for easy reference and to share it with friends and family who might appreciate a delectable treat!
For the Creme Brulee:
- 1 vanilla bean
- 8 large egg yolks
- 1 quart (950 ml) heavy cream
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar extra for topping
- 60 shortbread cookies
- 1 cup (325 g) seedless raspberry jam
- Heat your oven to 300°F (150°C) and position the rack in the middle of the oven. And boil water in a large pot for later use.
- Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.
- Whisk egg yolks in a bowl for a minute and set aside.
- In a saucepan, gently heat the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla seeds, and pod. Whisking constantly so it doesn’t burn on the bottom.
- Once the mixture simmers at 205°F (96°C) avoid boiling, remove from heat immediately.
- Very, very gradually, add some of the cream mixture to the beaten egg yolks while whisking the egg yolks constantly. Do this until all of the cream is added.
- Strain this mixture through a fine sieve into a large bowl to catch the vanilla pod and any solids.
- Pour the strained cream into a 9×9 inch baking dish and place it inside a larger roasting pan.
- Add the boiling water to the roasting pan, halfway up the sides of the baking dish, avoiding the cream mixture.
- Bake for 40 minutes, then cover with foil and bake for another 20 minutes. The center should be slightly jiggly.
- Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours, then, cover it with plastic wrap and place it in for at least 4 hours to set, or overnight is best.
- For assembly, take the cream out of the fridge whisk the set cream until smooth.
- In your serving glasses, layer crushed cookies, cream, about 2 tablespoons of raspberry jam, more cookies, and cream.
- Sprinkle a generous layer of sugar on each trifle making sure it goes all the way to the edge and fully covers the cream, and torch it until browned.
- Let it sit for a few minutes for the sugar to set before serving.
- Serve cold for the best taste. If assembling in advance, complete up to adding sugar and refrigerate.
- The richness of the cream pairs well with the light cookies and tangy jam. Adjust the size of the servings based on your preference and the size of the glasses.
- Feel free to modify with different cookies, fruits, or jams.
- Store leftovers separately in the fridge for up to 3 days, but avoid freezing.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
© Little Sunny Kitchen